A High School Urban Agriculture Program in Richmond, California

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Adam Boisvert, co-instructor of the Urban Agriculture Institute, waters carrots in one of the class’s 57 raised beds. Photo by Reis Thebault.

“They’re working really hard to make positive changes in the community,” he said. “That is the essence of the class: how you can take care of yourself—even in an urban area.”

By Reis Thebault
Richmond Confidential
September 13, 2016

Excerpt:

The class began as an after school program seven years ago but quickly became popular with the administration, said Richmond High School Principal José De León. At the time, it was part of a local push to begin community gardens in schools. Now, he said, Richmond High’s program is unique because it’s part of the school’s curriculum.

As an elective, the class is up against the likes of yearbook, dance and film, but De León said the course fills up every year—a sign that it’s popular among students.

That’s because, Boisvert said, the garden and farm are places where students can escape the pressures of everyday life—whether that comes from class, friends or home.

“I feel like you see a lot of the best in kids when they’re able to be in an environment where they feel safe,” he said. “They feel like they can just explore and interact and grow food. It’s really powerful.”

Boisvert teaches students everything from how to sprinkle carrot seeds and rotate crops with the seasons to the consequences of climate change and the inner workings of food systems.

Read the complete article here.

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